September 29 2014

Getting attention with infographics

In the last few years, we have seen quite a boom in the use of infographics throughout the marketing and communications world. Businesses have long used charts and diagrams to present large or complex amounts of data in meetings and to impress executives, but it has been in the latter part of the last decade that infographics have really taken off outside of the boardroom and changed the exchange of information in our social media age. It probably doesn’t hurt that infographics have also become much more visually appealing and easy to understand.

Meryl Serouya at PR Daily, wrote an article back in 2012 all about infographic popularity and talked about how visual of a species we are and how the appeal of infographics makes perfect sense:

“Since our earliest days, images have captured our attention. They have been at the heart of storytelling, one of our first methods of expression and a fundamental tool for education. Infographics, which are more detailed than photos and convey information more quickly than videos, tap into this visual learning style. They can prove especially powerful in press releases by extending the core message and highlighting the important components to bring the text to life. 

Plus, they’re inviting.”

Infographics allow a great deal of creative flexibility to be added to your press release, while also instantly simplifying and briefing your reader on large amounts of complex information. As Serouya puts it, “An effective infographic elicits an instant reaction and entices people to want to learn more.”

Not Just Easy On the Eyes

Infographics are not just an interesting change of pace for your communication department; they are a very effective one, as well. We encourage the use of visual aids like infographics when sending out press releases because we see the way that these media assets help to garner attention from the press and also from social media.

But this attention is only as good as the information it is pointing to.

Quickly, here are our top 3 ways to make your infographic amazing:

  1. Cite your sources and fact check all data – There are a lot of infographics floating around with no sources and no way to verify that a stat is correct. Any good journalist will make sure that your data is correct, so if you’ve lead them on a wild goose chase with no way to fact check, your beautifully designed infographic is more irritating than it is helpful.

  2. Design the infographic beautifully – The visual component of an infographic is what takes numbers and makes them a story. Make every single piece of data easy to understand and a part of a bigger message. Decide on your angle and ensure that every piece of information points directly at it with the aid of visuals.

  3. Make it easy to share. The one complaint people often have about infographics is that they aren’t the easiest for pulling information from. If you’re sending out an infographic with your press release, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put all of the data on a nice document for someone to copy and paste from.

The right format for you?

As with any PR tool, you want to make sure that you are tailoring your information for the audience set to receive it. Ask yourself about the subject and the reader before deciding if an infographic will be the most effective way of communicating your information. We tend to agree with Meryl Serouya that infographics are generally most useful when presenting:

• Survey results that may be cumbersome in a lengthy text format;
• Statistical data that can lose the fleeting interest of a reader; 
• Comparison research that will have a more a dramatic effect with visuals;
• Messages targeted to multilingual audiences (images are a universal language, right?); 
• Any other information that just isn’t sexy without graphical elements. 

What would a post about the benefits of infographics be if it were solely text and no photos? A bit too ironic?

So, to further convince you, we leave you with a link to this great infographic, by Neo Mam Studios about infographics, of course.